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Smoke-free Environments Regulation (1999) Review

Smoke-free Environments Regulation (1999) Review

Graphic pictures, larger warnings and a ban on misleading messages on cigarette packets will be considered as part of an upcoming review into New Zealand's Smoke-free Environments Regulations (1999).

The Ministry of Health-coordinated review is aimed at ensuring domestic regulations meet the requirements of the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which New Zealand has ratified.

Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor said the scope of the review was currently being developed and key stakeholders contacted.

"We want feedback from as wide a section of the community as possible. As well as taking public submissions we'll be going directly to key stakeholders, including health groups, the tobacco industry and retail organisations."

The review could result in bigger warnings on tobacco products (30 percent or more of the principal display area) and pictorial warnings showing damage caused by smoking, he said.

It would also determine what information should be displayed on tobacco products and whether the use of certain terms should be banned, as they have been in the UK, to protect consumers from being misled.

"There is no such thing as a safe cigarette," says Mr O'Connor.

Options for reducing tobacco-related harm, such as regulating cigarette ingredients, would also be covered.

Public consultation on the review will start in July and run to mid-September, to ensure that interested parties are aware of the review and have a fair chance to comment on the proposals.

"The government will not be making any decisions until after the consultation process is complete, and I expect to have final analysis of submissions by the end of October," Mr O'Connor said.

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